[handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 25 February 2009

  • From: "Patrick Tice" <wa0tda@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <handiham-world@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2009 17:57:59 -0600

Courage Center Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 25 February

This is a free weekly news & information update from Courage Center
<http://handiham.org>  Handiham System. Please do not reply to this message.
Use the contact information at the end, or simply email

This issue is being delivered in plain text, but is available in HTML with
graphics and photos. You can get the HTML version online at the following

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Welcome to Handiham World!

Are you on Twitter? WA0TDA is.

Pat and the alligatorTwitter is a social networking site of sorts, with
people sending short messages called "tweets" to anyone who cares to
"follow" a particular user. This is sometimes called "micro-blogging".   

The content can be pretty interesting - or it can be rather silly or boring,
too. It is the sort of thing you have to actually try before you really
understand what it's all about. The process is pretty simple: You go to the
Twitter website, http://twitter.com, and create an account, which is free.
Pay attention to the Twitter terms of service and privacy statements, since
this is the sort of thing that can get users confused. A little reading can
pay off, though I know most of us would rather jump out the window than read
the instructions for anything!

The way it works is that you are supposed to just send a short message of
140 characters or fewer by filling in a simple form field on your Twitter
site, where it is then resent to all your "followers". You can follow as
many or as few other Twitter users as you want.

I follow TWIAR, This Week In Amateur Radio, among a few others. You can find
a short overview of what Twitter is about on, where else? - Wikipedia!

 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

In fact, I think this Wikipedia article does a better job of explaining
Twitter than Twitter does. Go figure.

You'll find my Twitter site here:

There are other ham radio operators on Twitter, as well as services like
TWIAR. Be careful, it can get addicting! On the other hand, the "tweets" can
get pretty numerous and you can get overwhelmed by their banality, as K9ZW
observes here:

Basically, what K9ZW suggests is that the signal to noise ratio is
unfavorable on Twitter.  What he means is that you can get overwhelmed with
useless garbage as people post things like, "I'm just waking up and the sun
is out", which is pretty much not of any real interest. On the other hand,
the TWIAR posts do keep you up to date on ham radio topics. It is a good
point, though - the posts you want to read can get drowned out by the
trivial ones, which is what an unfavorable signal to noise ratio means!

Happy tweeting, if you decide to try Twitter. 

Next week: I weigh in on a new EMF flap over a cancer cluster on a
California university campus. Does EMF cause cancer? 


Patrick Tice, WA0TDA
Handiham Manager

 <mailto:wa0tda@xxxxxxxx> wa0tda@xxxxxxxx


Avery's QTH

Avery's QTH

Welcome once again to my humble QTH:   

Here is an email I received from our Net Manager, KE7KNN, along with my


This goes with what you were talking about. From working in the field of
computer security, I can sum up things about passwords.   

.        First, good passwords do have numbers and letters and should be
changed at least every two months. They should be something you can

.        Second, they should not have your birthday or social security
number, children's names or the names of other family members.

.        Third, they should be kept in a safe and secure place like a
fireproof box. They should not be in the area where the computer is used.

.        Fourth, do not share them or give them out on either land line or
cell phone. Remember that a cell phone is a radio and might be monitored.

.        Finally, do not tell anyone over the air that you are going to be
gone, either to camp for a week or just for a day. You never know who is
listening and who might take the opportunity to break into your home while
you are gone.

Play it safe and you can protect yourself from identity theft!   


Howard, KE7KNN
Handiham Net Manager


Avery says:   

You bet! That is all very good information. A friend of mine used to work on
military computers and there is not much possibility of a person remembering
those passwords. A code book is a necessity and it is changed quite often.
For some things a high level of password security is not as important as
others. For example: I play chess on a gaming web site and we all use
something other than our real names, so even if someone did get into the
system they would not find out much about me or any of the others. But some
people do their banking and shopping on line and it would not be very good
for someone to get into their accounts.   

Social networking sites scare me, though. People put up family pictures and
sometimes very personal information on these sites without considering the
consequences. I have heard stories that the law enforcement people monitor
these social networking sites have caught criminals because they post
detailed personal information. Once that information is out there, it is
there forever, too.   

The point we are trying to make is that it is very important to be very
careful with what information you have out on the Internet and to make it as
secure as possible so that someone does not find a way to use your
information against you.   

One other thing I just happened to think about is that it is not, I repeat
not, a good idea to have your computer or the website remember the password
and ID for you as someone using your computer could get into every account
you have.   

So, until next time, 73 and DX from K0HLA Avery

You can contact me Monday & Wednesday until 2:00 PM Minneapolis Time at

763-520-0515 or email me at:   



Summer Intern program at NASA - Students wanted!

Summer Intern program at NASA - Students wanted!

In cooperation with the Maryland Space Grant Consortium (MSGC), NASA is
looking for two Summer interns in 2009 to assist with the development of
GEAR, one high school rising senior and one college student. We are
targeting high schools in the Baltimore/Washington area that serve
underrepresented populations when the pilot is expanded to a working and
operational program in the fall of 2009. It will be flexible enough to be
delivered both in person or over the Internet as appropriate. The high
school participant will be encouraged to continue assisting program
implementation through the school year as part of her/his studies.

Students will help develop the course materials, modes of curriculum
delivery, and select and build the ground station. Students interested in
learning more about and applying for these positions should go to the NASA
GSFC Office of Higher Education Combined Intern Application webpage.
Applications will be accepted from Monday, February 9 through the close of
business on Friday, March 6.

Students will also have the opportunity to earn their amateur-radio licenses
after passing a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) examination. Ham
licenses are highly sought after in industry because of the rigorous nature
of the test. Consequently, students, who earn their licenses, will have a
competitive advantage in the job market, increased skills, and a credential
that will last and serve them for a lifetime.

Don't wait; apply now:


A useful code practice site

Dear Elmer,

Can you recommend a website or software that will help me learn Morse code?
I know code isn't a requirement anymore, but I'd like to learn it anyway so
I can work more DX!


More DX

Elmer says:

Dear More DX,

I would like you to try this website, which is the same one we recommend for
studying for the written tests:

 <http://aa9pw.com/morsecode/> http://aa9pw.com/morsecode/

You are wise to learn the code, because it will be useful not only to work
DX, but you will recognize repeater identifications, be able to operate in
the "code tent" on Field Day, and make new friends you would never have met

*       By elmer at 02/25/2009 - 17:19
*        <http://www.handiham.org/blog/388> elmer's blog
*       Login
t-form>  at handiham.org to post comments


 <http://www.handiham.org/node/358> Minnesota Radio Camp Photo Tour

Take a virtual tour of Minnesota Radio Camp.  Once you experience Handiham
Radio Camp at Courage North, you'll want to return again and again! You will
also find a link to a KMZ file, which tells Google Earth our exact location,
so you can get a bird's eye view. You do need Google Earth on your computer
for that, but not for the photo tour.

*        <http://www.handiham.org/node/358> Read more on the Handiham

To download Google Earth:  <http://earth.google.com/> 


WorldRadio OnlineWorldRadio Online

The March edition of WorldRadio Online is online and ready for you to read!
A number of reports have come in about server overload, but that problem
seems to have passed and the website is working normally. To download and
read the issue in text-accessible PDF, go to the CQ home page at
and click on the "WorldRadio Online" box. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader
in order to read WorldRadio Online. This is the second fully-online edition
of WorldRadio, and we have heard good reports about the ease of reading from
our blind Handiham members. Remember, blind Handiham members can also listen
to the N1BLF audio digest of WorldRadio as well by logging in to the Members
Only section of the Handiham website.


I'm a good operator and you're not

There is an old saying that tells us, "Every person with a driving license
believes that they are a very good driver, and that other drivers have a lot
to learn".

Isn't that the truth? We all like to think we are good at just about
everything that we do. Other people think of themselves in exactly the same
way, because that is human nature. The problem is that we can't all be
correct, can we? Even though I have been driving a car since I have been a
sophomore in high school, those decades of driving experience don't
necessarily mean that I drive better than everyone else. After all, I may
have some bad driving habits that I have picked up over the years. I may not
recognize my own bad habits because of my assumption that I am a good
driver. All those people flashing their headlights and honking their horns
at me just because I am driving on the wrong side of the road while talking
on my cellular phone and playing the banjo don't know a good driver when
they see one!

Okay, that's a little extreme, but the same thing can happen in amateur
radio. How many people have you heard on the air proclaiming that someone
else is a poor operator, has done something wrong, doesn't know what they
are doing, should never have gotten a license, and so on? Oddly enough,
these same operators who complain so loudly often times have rather poor
operating habits themselves. You can be licensed for many years, even
decades, and still not have a clue that your operating technique leaves a
bit to be desired. One wise amateur radio operator once told me that there
is a big difference between having 10 years of experience on the air and
having one year of experience 10 times over. What he meant by that was that
some people simply do the same thing over and over again, never venturing
forth to learn new things or to really improve their operating techniques.

Now, I am not going to claim that I am a genius at self-realization, which
is to say really understanding myself and knowing for sure what I do
correctly and realizing where I need to make some improvements. But one
thing I do know for sure is that as certainly as I am not the world's best
driver, I am also not the world's best amateur radio operator, and just
knowing that helps me keep an open mind to learning new things, especially
things that will make me a better radio operator.

It's still hard to improve on "The Amateur's Code", which you can find on
the ARRL website:

 <http://www.arrl.org/acode.html> http://www.arrl.org/acode.html

Next week, (not this week) beginning in March, you will have an opportunity
to learn how to be a better amateur radio operator. You can check into the
regular Wednesday night handiham EchoLink net, because the first Wednesday
of each month the theme of the net is one of learning and training. Although
the primary focus is on how to be a good, even great, net control station,
most of the same operating techniques that make a good net control will also
apply to normal, day-to-day amateur radio communications. Please join us and
check in or simply listen in, as you see fit:


*       Wednesday evenings at 19:30 hours Minnesota time (7:30 PM)
*       GMT: Thursday morning at 01:30 Z


*       145.450 MHz N0BVE repeater (Minneapolis-St. Paul) 
*       Node 89680 (EchoLink worldwide) 
*       IRLP node 9008 (Vancouver BC reflector) 
*       WIRES system number 1427

Everyone is welcome. You do not need to be a member, and the net is relaxed,
friendly, and informal. 


This week at Headquarters:

*       The EchoLink evening net moves to Wednesdays starting next week! On
March 4th (the only day of the year that is also a military command, if you
get the joke), the Handiham net MOVES from Mondays at 7:00 PM to Wednesdays
at 7:30 PM. The first Wednesday of each month the net has a training focus,
and the rest of the month, it is open to other themes. 
*       Radio Camp applications are now printed and ready to send out! If
you attended radio camp last year, you are on the list to receive an

*       Arrive on Sunday, August 16 and depart on Sunday, August 23, 2009.
Minnesota Radio Camp will be at Courage North, deep in the pines of northern
Minnesota's beautiful lake country. Pictures of camp are available online.
*       Once again, campers earning their first license, the Technician, at
Radio Camp will get new handheld radios to start them off on their ham radio

*       It's like a vacation! Those of you who have enjoyed a Handiham Radio
Camp at Courage North before know what a beautiful place it is, located on a
pristine lake with plenty of lakeside activities, woodland trails,
comfortable housing, great food and fellowship, and of course plenty of ham
radio fun. 
*       Radios galore! This year we will have our Kenwood TS-480 remote base
station operational at the camp, as well as an EchoLink node so that you can
stay in touch with your ham radio friends with a handheld radio.  We will
have several other stations available, including the popular Kenwood TS-2000
transceiver and the new Kenwood TM-V71A blind-accessible dual band radio.
Courage North has high-speed Internet access. You can come to camp to take
one of the licensing classes for Technician, General, or Extra, or you can
take a class in operating skills or an Extra Class seminar, which covers
some of the more advanced news and technology in amateur radio today. There
is always time for fun at camp, and we always take some side trips to places
like Lake Itasca, the headwaters of the mighty Mississippi River. If you
would like us to send you an application packet, please e-mail Nancy at:

You may also call Nancy toll-free at 1-866-426-3442 to request an
application packet, renew your Handiham membership, or make a donation to
support our work.

We hope you can join us for Minnesota Radio Camp 2009. The Handiham Radio
Club will also meet at Courage North during Radio Camp week. This year there
will be bus transportation as well as airline transportation to Bemidji. We
also have plenty of free parking and pick up for free at the bus station and


*       Remote Base Access!  Handiham Members wanting Remote Base access
please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxxx Include your SKYPE name, as SKYPE is used for
the audio to and from the transceiver. We are starting to compile a user
list. Please do not ask for access unless you are a Handiham member and have
at least a General Class license. We also need to remind our would-be users
that this is a project that will require you to be computer-savvy, have
high-speed Internet access, and to be able to figure things out without much
help from us. We do have some help pages online in the members section of
the website. Look for the Remote Base link after you log in to the website.
We are continuing to develop the help pages with input from you. Please
email us with suggestions.
*       Instruction pages for the W0EQO Remote base have been updated,
including how to get SKYPE. We have added some new material just today! 
Log in to the members only section and <http://handiham.org/user>  follow
the Remote Base link.

*       Request for General class lectures: George, N0SBU, has completed
putting the website General lectures onto 4-track tapes for members without
Internet access. Contact Nancy at HQ for details. Tape masters have been
completed. <http://handiham.org/user> 

*       New in Operating Skills: 

*       Volunteer reader Ken Padgitt, W9MJY, reads the "Doctor is in" column
from QST for our blind members.  
*       Just in! Volunteer Bob Zeida, N1BLF, has completed the March 2009
Worldradio audio digest for our blind members. 
*       March audio is also posted. QST & WORLDRADIO audio digests are
available for our members. Login to the member section of the
<http://handiham.org/user>  Handiham website and find the magazine digests
in the Library. The QST, CQ, and Worldradio digests have been read by Bob
Zeida, N1BLF. 

*       Stay in touch!  Be sure to send Nancy your change of address, phone
number changes, or email address changes so that we can continue to stay in
touch with you. You may either email Nancy at hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx or
call her toll-free at 1-866-4.... Mornings are the best time to contact us. 

*        <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session
time & date set:

 <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> Minnesota Radio Camp VE Session Set

An open VE (Volunteer Examination) session for ham radio licensing has been
scheduled for the last full day of Handiham Radio Camp on Saturday August
22, 2009. The session is sponsored by the Paul Bunyan Amateur Radio Club &
Courage Center's Handiham System.

Walk-in's are welcome. If you have been studying for your amateur radio
license, you are welcome to join us at Camp Courage North, Lake George, MN
to take your exam.

Place - Courage North Dining Hall
Time of session - 9:00 AM
Walk-ins accepted - Advance notice is helpful, but not required.

*       Read more <http://www.handiham.org/node/335>  on the Handiham
website:  <http://www.handiham.org/node/335> 

Reminder:  Handiham renewals are now on a monthly schedule - Please renew or
join, as we need you to keep our program strong!

You will have several choices when you renew:

*       Join at the usual $10 annual dues level for one year.
*       Join for three years at $30.
*       Lifetime membership is $100.
*       If you can't afford the dues, request a sponsored membership for the
*       Donate an extra amount of your choice to help support our
*       Discontinue your membership.

Please return your renewal form as soon as possible. 

Your support is critical! Please help. 

The Courage Handiham System depends on the support of people like you, who
want to share the fun and friendship of ham radio with others. Please help
us provide services to people with disabilities. We would really appreciate
it if you would remember us in your estate plans. If you need a planning
kit, please call. If you are wondering whether a gift of stock can be given
to Handihams, the answer is yes! Please call Nancy at: 1-866-426-3442 or
email: <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

Ask for a free DVD about the Handiham System. It's perfect for your club
program, too! The video tells your club about how we got started, the Radio
Camps, and working with hams who have disabilities. Call 1-866-426-3442


1-866-426-3442 toll-free Help us get new hams on the air.

FREE! Get the Handiham E-Letter by email every Wednesday, and stay
up-to-date with ham radio news. 

*       You may listen in audio to the E-Letter at www.handiham.org
<http://www.handiham.org/> .  
Email us to subscribe:  <mailto:hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

Handiham members with disabilities can take an online audio course at
www.handiham.org <http://www.handiham.org/> :

. Beginner 
. General 
. Extra 
. Operating Skills


That's it for this week. 73 from all of us at the Courage Handiham System!

Manager, Courage Handi-ham System
Reach me by email at:  <mailto:patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 

*       Nancy, Handiham Secretary: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*       Jerry, N0VOE, Student Coordinator: jerry.kloss@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*       Avery, K0HLA, Educational Coordinator: avery.finn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
*       Pat, WA0TDA, Manager, patt@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
*       Radio Camp email: radiocamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


ARRL </p />
<p>diamond logo

ARRL is the premier organization supporting amateur radio worldwide. Please
contact Handihams for help joining the ARRL. We will be happy to help you
fill out the paperwork!

The weekly e-letter is a compilation of software tips, operating
information, and Handiham news. It is published on Wednesdays, and is
available to everyone free of charge. Please email wa0tda@xxxxxxxx for
changes of address, unsubscribes, etc. Include your old email address and
your new address.


*       By wa0tda <http://www.handiham.org/user/2>  at 02/25/2009 - 14:36
*       Avery's <http://www.handiham.org/taxonomy/term/10>  QTH Column
*       News <http://www.handiham.org/taxonomy/term/1> 
*       Add new <http://www.handiham.org/comment/reply/359#comment-form>


Courage Center Handiham System
3915 Golden Valley Road
Golden Valley, MN 55422
E-Mail: hamradio@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Toll-Free telephone: 1-866-HANDIHAM (1-866-426-3442)

FAX:(763) 520-0577 Be sure to put "Handihams" in the FAX address!

We look forward to hearing from you soon.


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  • » [handiham-world] Handiham World Weekly E-Letter for the week of 25 February 2009 - Patrick Tice